Chapter 9

Right to Control Access: The Trump Card


When the history of copyright law is written, the digital debate of 1998 will be primarily about access or, more specifically, about the right to control access to digital works. From time immemorial, authors sold copies of their works to the public and that was how they made money. The individual who purchased the work owned the copy but not the copyright. The purchaser could place the book in a personal library, read it at leisure, loan the copy to a friend, or give it away. For the person who possessed the hard copy, it was always there to review and research if the spirit moved him or her.

But in a digital world, works are less frequently sold and more often licensed. Combined with the fact ...

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